Bryan Hunt

Thomas Segal Gallery

This selection of three small sculptures and ten drawings, executed between 1986 and 1989, is further evidence of Bryan Hunt’s facility for combining the languages of abstraction and figurative representation. No longer concerned primarily with the waterfall configuration, Hunt frequently places figures in geometric settings. His sculptures, in particular, are becoming increasingly anthropomorphic and metaphysical in character. In Astronomer, 1986, a thin cast-bronze figure with a loop on its lap sits on a chair. The figure balances above it a tiny bronze orb placed on a cylinder, suggesting a medieval astronomer’s tools; below it stands a cylindrical limestone base, which alludes to a medieval telescope. Both the spatial displacements of rectangle and sphere, solid and void, pay three-dimensional homage to Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical muses.

Hunt strikes a successful balance between gesture and geometry in Untitled (Study for Neptune), 1987, a cast-bronze sculpture with a limestone base. A sensuously rippled and darkly patined cascade of bronze suggests the figure’s torso, giving the sculpture a quality of softness and facility. A series of bronze rectangles and rhomboids suggest Neptune’s head, trident, and chariot; they are well integrated with the rectangular limestone base. The entire image is heroic in gesture; although small in scale, its poetry of form is monumental.

Hunt’s drawings run the gamut from site and sculpture studies to landscapes inspired by his fascination with the quarries and landscapes of Andalusia, Spain. His largest and most recent drawing, Double Caryatid, 1989, combines watercolor, graphite, and linseed oil on four attached pieces of paper. The black silhouette of a caryatid emerges from the left and encounters a thin, dark columnar form. Suggestions of other human figures emerge from subtly defined areas of watercolor and graphite. Positive and negative spaces appear and recede elegantly in this complex composition. As Hunt begins to expand his pictorial vision, he replaces simple forms with more complex ones. The works are decidedly more evocative than earlier ones, but perhaps less formally riveting and physically sensuous.

Francine A. Koslow